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ISBN 978-0-9567359-5-9
First published June 2012
; 76 pp
paperback with endpapers; 198 x 129 mm

£8.99
click here to read a pdf excerpt.
Beverley Bie Brahic is a poet and translator (Cixous, Derrida, Roubaud). A Canadian, she lives in Paris and Stanford, California. Her translation of selected poems by Francis Ponge, Unfinished Ode to Mud (CBe, 2008) was widely praised and was a finalist for the 2009 Popescu Prize for European poetry in translation; her translations of poems by Apollinaire, The Little Auto, were published by CBe in early 2012.
Click here to visit B B Brahic’s website.





 
Beverley Bie Brahic  White Sheets
 

Shortlisted for Forward Prize 2012
Poetry Book Society Recommendation

     In Paris, night falls without haste; starlings
.    flock to the oak. A neighbour appears on her porch,
     gives her white cloth
     a conjuror's shake . . .


Brimming with light and wit and appetite, White Sheets is a book of clear-sighted affection in which neither grief nor love’s hard obligations can deflect from Beverley Bie Brahic’s delight in the pleasures of nature, art and the body.

‘These poems live and breathe in large subjects – elegies, memories, images. They move easily from urban pastorals to domestic portraits, never losing their blance, always commanding their narratives. This is a book of craft, music and a collected vision of life that provides pleasure on every page.
     – Eavan Boland

‘Perhaps partly because of Brahic’s translation work, there’s a sense of joy in language, such as the richness of sound in the beautiful “Behind, Before . . .”: “weeds jimmying through the concrete/ where horses flicked flies from their flanks”. . . . White Sheets is immensely readable, skilfully crafted and rich with ideas and feeling.’
     – Katherine Stansfield, Magma

‘I enjoyed the author’s individual sensibility and view of the world, her gifts for sharp observation, whether of people or things, for clear description, and for ruefully self-deprecating humour, tartness and bawdy zest . . . She shares [Elizabeth] Bishop’s flair for presenting the mind in the act of thinking by verbalising the subtle evolutions of thought, the false trails and associative leaps through which it reacts to the world.’
     – Edmund Prestwich, North

‘Brahic’s poems are lyrics of various residences. Shifts of place in White Sheets follow her trajectory of living abroad, through French, Italian, American, and Irish locales. Her shifts are more than that, though . . . In addition to poetic shape-shifting, subtle conforntations often lurk deceptively behind the ordinary. The title poem “White Sheets” opens Brahic’s collection, and its epigraph, Airstrike hits wedding party, creates tension in what appears to be the everyday – a domestic scene troubled only by the anxiety of one line against the ominous instinctive movements of a woman collecting laundry . . . In some poems, such as “Annunciations”, a change in point of view may result in intrusion, but Brahic rejoices, as Bellini does, in what is divulged . . . . Here as elsewhere, Brahic scrutinizes, offers us a language of post-exposure reparation.’
     – Valerie Duff-Strautmann, The Common


‘A number of these poems have their starting point with gardens or planting, and Bie Brahic is particularly good at placing the detail of plant names at strategic points in the poems to pin down a mood or development. And plants in this book are handled with the same loving tenderness as other objects are. Tenderness is necessary to handle the world and dispose things in it;  not to control the world but to allow it to be most fully itself, “But a bantam – oh, it’s a fancy-dress hat/with an extravagant plume – and when I pulled them/ from the branch I had nothing/ in my arms – a beating heart/baffled by all the seasons of leaves.” (‘Compost’). Tenderness is also part of the erotic and sexual, about which Bie Brahic writes with singular, and non-sentimental, brilliance. This book is to be highly recommended.’
     – Ian Pople, Manchester Review